The 1, 2, 7, 14 Formula

On the Go Into the Story blog, I found a really good bit of advice that I’m going to work on folding into my writing habits.

It’s called the 1, 2, 7, 14 Formula and it’s split into four parts: read one script a week, watch two movies a week, write seven pages a week, and put in fourteen hours of story prep a week. When you put it that way, you have a clear setup for long term success.

Scott Myers did the math:

If you do this, here’s what you will have done in one year’s time:

You will have read 52 screenplays.

You will have watched 104 movies

You will have written 2 feature-length screenplays.

Spread that out over 5 years: 260 screenplays, 520 movies, 10 original screenplays.

That means you could have read every one of the top 101 screenplays as voted by the WGA, plus 159 more.

That means you could have seen every one of the IMDB Top 250 movies, plus 270 more.

That means you could have written the exact number of original screenplays Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Bodyguard, The Big Chill, Grand Canyon) wrote before he sold his first one.

All by setting these simple goals: 1, 2, 7, 14.

So I am going to actively do this. I’ve already set up a slate of screenplays that I have in my collection that I’m going to read in the next couple of weeks, and I might do blog posts about them. As an screenwriter, I really need to analyze as many screenplays as I can. This is a good way to actually turn it into a long term habit that can only benefit me and my career long term.

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